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How to Embroider Eyes – video tutorial

My No-Longer-Top-Secret-Method for Embroidering Eyes

Want to learn how to embroider eyes the way I do it?

I have a particular way I make eyes when I draw, and when I translated those drawings into embroideries I had a hard time choosing a stitch that gave me just the effect I wanted.

A French knot was too round.

A simple straight stitch was, well, too straight. And too flat.

Padded satin stitch is great for larger eyes, but I needed something that would work for small faces and eyes.

I tried a lot of different stitches, and combinations of stitches until I finally hit on something that was just right. If I had to give it a name, I guess I’d call it a padded straight stitch?

So now I’m going to show you how to embroider eyes using this special stitch. I use this for all of my doll and softie faces, as well as any other small faces I stitch.

Want to practice stitching eyes? Try this Monster Mash embroidery pattern full of monster faces.

Monster Mash embroidery pattern

Lots of eyes to embroider in there!

The Under the Sea pattern is also full of eyes for you to embroider.

Happy stitching!

Here are all my lessons for other stitches.

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about finishing your work.


  1. Thanks! I am just renewing my love of embroidery after many years (my Nana taught me when I was little) and am happy to discover new ways of doing things.

  2. Robin Girshner SAYS...

    i have a tinker bell crocheted doll i made and i need to know how to makes eyes so it looks right. if you can help that wood be wonderful. thank you robin.

    • Robin – I’m just now starting to crochet dolls (I made my first amigurumi a few weeks ago) so I don’t have much experience with this. For mine I just stitched a single straight stitch, over and over again until it was thick enough to really show up.

      Good luck!

  3. Anna Maria Quagliero SAYS...

    Thank you for the video of eyes embroidery !! 🙂

      • Patricia Wood SAYS...

        Hi Wendy! I notice the stitch is done in the hoop and looks sort of tight. Do I need a hoop to do the eyes? I am finished with the head already. Thanks, Patricia

        • You don’t need a hoop – just be careful not to pull your stitches too tight.

  4. I love the way you did the eyes. They’re so much better than the French knots I’ve been making. Thanks!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m glad it was helpful. 🙂

  5. Pingback: How to Machine Stitch Eyes - Shiny Happy World

  6. Rhonda SAYS...

    Hello, is that perle cotton you were using? What # if it was? Thank you. Excited about tomorrow. Rhonda

    • No – it’s a full 6 strands of regular DMC embroidery floss. You can use perle cotton – but with that I find it a little harder to do the split stitch underneath.

  7. Debbie SAYS...

    Thank you for sharing – they look so much better than French Knot

  8. Isabella SAYS...

    This is so much better, quicker, and easier that any method Iave ever tried. Never going back to french knot again!

  9. Karen Little SAYS...

    I love your videos! You are very descriptive! Thank you!

  10. Shirley SAYS...

    Very nice

  11. This is a great tutorial! I’m going to try this out!

  12. Great tutorial! I’m so excited to try out this technique on my next embroidery project. The eyes really make the design come to life, and the video was so easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!